Our real goal with the Little Lions fitness program
While many kids look forward to a weekend of relaxation, a group of Columbia, Maryland athletes look forward to prowler pushes and tire flips to kick off their Saturday morning. And these CrossFit Kids, or Little Lions as we call them, got an extra treat recently as they were coached by CrossFit Games athletes themselves, the Little Lions counterparts; ‘big’ 12 Labours Lions.
The workout included burpees, situps, running, and they learned wall balls for the daily skill. And while working out with such athletes is exciting to many young CrossFit athletes, the team and CrossFit kids coaches hope to impart more than just new skills.
“It’s about encouraging the kids to be healthy and find a passion for fitness,” Coach Heather Dexter explained to the Baltimore Sun, “but also having them encourage each other. We teach them about teamwork and supporting each other.”
Teresa Luz, who grew up competing in various sports, didn’t find CrossFit until she was over 30 years old. And while she believes it could have made an impact on her earlier athletic career, she also explains a much deeper benefit of CrossFit.
“I’ve learned a great deal about work ethic, relationships with others, personal growth, and the strength of team and community,” she said. “That is pretty important stuff for life if you ask me.”
Luke Espe mirrored that benefit as well but also reminds us that we have just as much to learn from the young athletes as they do from us.
“At this point of the season tension and emotions get high and it’s easy to get lost in all of it,” Espe explained. “Spending time with these kids on Saturdays is so much fun, and is a refreshing breath of what this team actually is to the community that supports it.”
But one could argue that the goal of CrossFit Kids is much larger than a single community. With childhood obesity rates more than doubling in the past 30 years and a continued progression to more sedentary lifestyles at an early age, CrossFit Kids has joined the coalition of many outside entities hoping to lower these alarming statistics.
While all older athletes hope to inspire a younger generation, on a base level the goal is to help kids find a love for a healthy lifestyle. Whether they go on to do CrossFit or any other form of fitness, the most important lesson we can teach is one of action: to be active, seek challenges, and aspire to continuously improve.
Josh Arcona articulated this perfectly.
“Find an avenue of fitness that you enjoy and look forward to doing. This helps make a lifelong habit and adventure that you can pass on to your friends and family.”
The most important thing, Arcona added, is finding something that doesn’t feel like a chore.
It was great having the Lions and Little Lions together.
(This post was originally shared on our Medium page.)